Most of the time you pick up a record, listen to it two or three times, and maybe like it. You remember every song after the first listening, have your favourite ones after the second time, maybe already know some of the words. You understand the song structures, the riffs, the composition, if you like the record it gives you a good feeling. But sometimes you listen to a record that's very different - the music that beats down on you is so complex it's hard to follow the songs, with a shitload of riffs is packed into every single song, when you listen to the record for the first time you turn it off after three tracks because you can't handle it. If you knew Starkweather before their latest record on Deathwish (they're already around since 1989), you know what kind of record "This Sheltering Night" is: a complex, harsh, uncomfortable one. By the way, props go out to Deathwish for releasing awesome records like this and not only mediocre crap like Killing The Dream. So I think in a way Starkweather translated 70ies Prog-Rock à la King Crimson into (Post-)Metal, with all its weird riffs, chords, time signatures and guitar leads, all very heavy and very, very dark. The most outstanding thing about Starkweather is (and always were) the vocals though. It is simply unbelievable how one person can come up with so many different voices (and not sounding like someone who tries to fake them). From sung vocals to nearly guttural ones, screaming, whispering, it's all there and all good. As good as it is, I have to make clear that "This Sheltering Night" is definetely a record that demands a lot of time. I listened to it for quite some time now and still discover new aspects, new layers of guitar underneath the riff-storm on top or new sick breaks I haven't perceived before. So if you like to spend a lot of time with one and the same record, and wish not to get bored after two days, check out "This Sheltering Night", if you're looking for your rather generic Hardcore or Metal record, better stay away from this one.
Starkweather on myspace